Musical heritage of the Commonwealth spotlighted in new map
Kentucky’s rich and varied musical heritage is highlighted and celebrated in the 2020-2021 Official Highway Map of the Bluegrass State.
“Music is part of life in Kentucky and crosses many genres,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “By the same token, our official highway map is much more than a display of route lines and numbers. It symbolizes connection to the things and places that matter most to us.”
The Official Highway Map of Kentucky has been a trusted navigation aid for motorists since first published by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) in 1929. It has evolved over the years to include information that affords travelers a glimpse of what Kentucky has to offer in recreation, history, food, adventure and the arts.
That includes a culture of music traceable along specific routes, such as the U.S. 23 “Country Music Highway” linking birthplaces of such stars as Loretta Lynn, Dwight Yoakam, Patty Loveless, Ricky Skaggs, Tyler Childers and others.
The map also notes Kentucky natives Bill Monroe, father of Bluegrass Music; balladeer John Jacob Niles; famed folk singer Jean Ritchie; country’s Merle Travis; rockers Don and Phil Everly, and “newgrass” pioneer Sam Bush.
As the new map aptly states, “Kentucky’s musical journey travels many roads.”
To assist motorists in the state’s highly traveled urban areas, 15 inset maps detail downtown and greater Louisville, downtown and greater Lexington, Bowling Green, Owensboro, Henderson, Hopkinsville, Paducah, Elizabethtown-Radcliff, northern Kentucky, downtown Covington-Newport, downtown Frankfort, Richmond-Berea and Ashland.
“Highway maps are a staple in transportation as drivers still enjoy the comfort of having a traditional navigational tool and visitors can also get a snapshot of our state,” said Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray.
“Local tourism centers, welcome centers and state parks often serve as our first opportunity to interact with travelers and connect them to the adventures that Kentucky tourism has to offer,” said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry. “The Kentucky highway map has a long history of merging transportation and tourism together to help navigate travelers directly to tourism attractions across the Commonwealth.”
Kentucky’s 2020-2021 Official Highway Map is available at welcome centers, rest areas, local convention and tourism offices and all Kentucky State Parks. Orders of up to 10 printed maps can be made online; however, requesters should expect a delay in shipment due to COVID-19.
Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians. Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients. In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky. She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Hollercast podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.